Vishakhapatnam: Skipper Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed may have frustrated the Indians with their dogged defence but Cheteshwar Pujara says it will be extremely tough for England to bat through the fifth day.
Cook and Hammed denied India any breakthrough until the 51st over as they chase an improbable 405-run target to win the second Test. Both England openers are back in pavilion now with India getting success towards the end of the fourth day.
“We are happy with the way things went. We got two wickets, we knew it would not be easy to get them out. We had our plans and ultimately we achieved. Possibly day five won’t be easy to bat on. We have seen cracks are opening up,” Pujara said at a press conference.
Asked whether defensive play was the forward, he said:
“It’s a bit difficult to take wickets if you play defensive. But we have seen there was some variable bounce. They have done well in couple of sessions. But we are very clear about our plans. Things won’t come easy for us, we know they are capable of batting well. We would not take things for granted. We will have to come hard at them.”
England are 87 for two and require 318 more runs on the final day. Only four teams in the history of Test cricket have been able to chase down 400-plus.
“It’s not easy chasing 400-plus in Indian conditions on day four and five. It’s always difficult, not many teams have done it.”
India wasted both of their DRS reviews in a space of six balls but Pujara said India needed to take chance.
“It was a right call because we wanted to get wickets. There were a couple of of close calls and we thought of getting the breakthroughs. The close-in fielders also thought it was close. I think it was a right call. I’m happy with the way things went.”
Asked whether they’re clear about the use of DRS which made its debut for the first time in a Test series in India, Pujara said: “We all discussed how we want to take calls. as a fielding unit we knew when to opt for DRS. When batting we have a clear plan and both batsmen decide.”
Haseeb played a gritty knock before being trapped by Ashwin with a ball that kept low. Pujara said it’s expected to happen playing on Indian wickets.
“When you play in India, you expect ball to keep low. He’s a good player. He’s really impressive. I don’t think it’s unfortunate, you expect balls to keep low in India. You have to adjust on day four especially when spinners will get turn and bounce and the odd ball will stay low. Overall, he’s a good player and impressive.”